Some men are trapped in the 1950s, where toxic masculinity was tolerated. You know what I’m talking about: dad gets home from work, puts his feet up, complains about the state of the house. Meanwhile, mom has been running herself ragged cleaning, doing childcare, and putting out tiny fires all day long.
Things are changing, gratefully, as more couples divide labor and refuse to look at things as “male” and “female” chores. But one Redditor’s dad isn’t one of those people. And she pulled a stunt to help him try and see how selfish and cruel has been behaving.
“My f16 father m46 is the ‘breadwinner’ while mom is a sahm. She handles everything around the house like cooking, mopping, washing, laundry, etc. I’m the oldest and I try to help but really there’s only so much I can do while my dad just gets home at the end of the day and literally complains about everything. Like how the carpet isn’t clean or how the food is cold. As a result, I’d have to listen to a huge argument daily between him and mom. It’s exhausting but honestly…I think that my dad is in the wrong here. I tried talking to him to get him to see how his behavior is but to no avail,” the OP says.
“So what I did was pick a day off for him and pretend to act like him. I put together an outfit that looked like a suit and put black tape over my lips to look like a mustache. At 6pm. I went inside the house. Shouted ‘I’M HOME!!’ then sat next to him in the living room and started kicking my shoes while complaining about the state of the house at the top of my lungs. He glanced at me confused asking what I was doing. I ignored him then started yelling about the carpet being dirty, shower not ready, the kids needing to be quiet and so on.”
“He kept staring while mom and my siblings laughed. My youngest brother kept pointing towards me saying ‘this is daddy.’ I then proceeded to yell about dinner then berated my mom for not preparing it before time. My dad stopped me and in a serious tone asked what I was doing. I turned to him and said ‘WHAT?! CAN’T A MAN EFFING REST AFTER WORKING LONG HOURS!!’ in the most macho voice I could muster. My dad got the hint because this was the common phrase he uses daily. He went quiet and avoided looking at me. I stopped the act and told him I was trying to show him what he’s like everyday when he comes home from work. He said nothing, just went outside and refused to speak to me.”
“Later he went on about how I ‘mocked’ and invalidated him. That he does work hard and me doing this was disrespectful and invalidating. Mom said it was funny but also thought I hurt my dad’s feelings and I could’ve gotten the message across some other way instead.”
We have a total queen here!
“NTA. You held up a mirror to his behavior, and he didn’t like what he saw. That’s on him. I hope he gets the message,” saidmimiuniverse.
“Not only was it a mirror. But realising too that OP wasn’t exaggerating when the youngest child Chimes in ‘that’s daddy!’ so easily recognising who it was supposed to be without being told. That’s a real ‘is this how my kids sees me’ It’s not something he can brush off as ‘my wife is just nagging me.’ And it’s a good chance to have a talk between both mom and dad. Perhaps as a family ‘this behaviour is really affecting us all. I’m 16 but try to help mom. Mom gets sad. Everyone has to hear you two fighting. Mom does a lot of hard work too, to make us all happy,'” suggestedDangerous-WinterElf
“NTA first off but I think you have a good chance here. Listen please – you can acknowledge ‘Hey dad, I know that probably did hurt your feelings and I’m sorry. Of course you work hard and provide for us and we appreciate it, but I want you to see that your behavior hurts moms feelings, hurts the family.’ The fact he went quiet, instead of exploding in anger, to me says there is hope! Like many, MANY dudes his age he struggles to process those emotions, but he recognized he was feeling more embarrassed / hurt than angry it seems. The key is to understand and withhold judgement, to re center the convo on not just his pain, but everyone’s feeling pain, and moving forward. That’s tough, and you’re a kid, it’s not your responsibility to do it. You would be morally justified to say F off. But I always ask do you wanna win, or be right? Being right often feels hollow. I hope you win,” explainedBenevelotCeasar
“Lmao, NTA. Dad’s just clued into how toxic he’s being without realizing he was being toxic. I expect dad to still be broody for a whiles but now would be a good time to have a sit down with him if he’s cooled off enough explaining how you feel, and how you feel he treats your mom. And most importantly, what he’s showing to your sibling and showing them it’s okay to be like this, when it isn’t. Breadwinner doesn’t mean you get to throw your weight around as soon as you get home. Breadwinner with a SAH parent should ultimately be praising the SAH parent for continually keeping the place tidy, and taking care of cooking/children. Maybe this is the wake up call your father needs,” saidSnommies